tv The Cycle MSNBC February 11, 2013 12:00pm-1:00pm PST
i need you. i feel so alone. but you're not alone. i knew you'd come. like i could stay away. you know i can't do this without you. you'll never have to. you're always there for me. shh! i'll get you a rental car. i could also use an umbrella. fall in love with progressive's claims service. i'm toure. today, stunning news from the vatican. i wonder if god was surprised to learn pope benedict is stepping down. i'm s.e. cupp. millions of americans captivated by the search of a successor. the picking a new pontiff.
i'm steve kornacki. president obama has tossed out the old olive branch. coming up, a man who himself helped write four state of the union addresses explains who us how it takes shape. i'm krysa tal. should the president go big by thinking small? it's monday and you're in "the cycle." after having repeatedly examined my conscience before god, i have come to the certainty that my strengths due to an advanced age are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the petrine ministry and the pope abdicated with only eight years on st. peter's throne shocking the 1 billion catholic faithful around the world.
the's not a papal abdication in more than 700 years and surprised the close est adviser today. he's a theological conservative with strong positions against homosexuality, women priests and the use of contraceptives. the last day in the vatican is february 28th. the college of cardinals meets in conclave mid-march to elect a successor. the pope will not participate. there's you are surgency to hav pope seated before the holy week. we start with claudio in vatican city. when's the latest? >> reporter: hi, toure. now the countdown is finally started, of course. well, there's no -- usually people don't have the chance to see the -- to know when the end of an end happens because in the past the pope had to die before
a new pope could be voted in. this time, we have a date. 28th of february and we got a lot of reaction to the announcement of pope benedict xvi that he is resigning. first of all, look at how he -- well, he abdicated rather than resigning. let's see how. he did that during a low-key affair this morning the vatican meeting with cardinals. wasn't a big deal and he said -- his speech made it in latin. not italian or english or a comprehensible language to most people and it was down to somebody from a local press office, local wire agency to actually figure out that he actually said, well look, i'm going to abdicate. even the way that he resigned or -- sorry. abdicated was kind of low key and he did it as he's done the -- as he's leaved his pontificate all along.
low key, suited with the personality. so different from john paul ii who was this media savvy loved pope that loved to come out and do big speech and address the big crowds so the pope is kind of going away and stepping aside in a very low key manner as he leaves the whole of his upon tir kate. shocking but not unexpected hinting in the past that a pope is -- if he doesn't feel the strength to carry on, he should resign or abdicate in this case. >> thank you very much. here with now contributor father robert barren. can you put the benedict papacy in to context? pope john paul ii, massive. this one's different. what's the legacy in your mind? >> well, i think he sees the papacy very much in continuity
of john paul ii. they were both men of the council. they were at vatican 2 and contributed and i think both saw an attempt to interpret vatican 2 properly. i would say that's the major contribution of pope benedict. he wanted to read vatican 2 as a an evangelical council, a council to get the message of the faith out to the wider world and i think in koont knewty with john paul and that's probably the major legacy. >> father, this will kick off sort of the ultimate insider political battle if you will. i can think of nothing less than transparent of the election. it's a cardinal sin to discuss it an they're told i guess going to hell to talk about what happens in that room. >> wow. >> i wonder if you could just take for sort of the laymen and women out there for the process. what is going to unfold in the
week and months ahead to elect a new pope? >> of course, this is very unusual. we are not dealing with the death of a pope followed by a period of mourning and a number offer is moans and masses that intervene. now we have a pope telling us when he's going to resign, namely february 28th. he resigns 8:00 in the evening rome time and then we have a cede of vacante situation. the chair of peter is vacant. the cardinals of the world gather and they have a period of consultation. we're not sure how long that will be but they'll consult with one another. and they'll discuss the future of the church. then they'll go in to conclave and the conclave in recent years not typically all that long. go back over history, some quite long. they tend to be a day, maybe a few days but the conclave will take place. the new pope elected and then announced to the world. what's really interesting about this situation is now we have a resigned or retired pope and
that as you say not happened for a long time. but the main process is pretty much as you would expect except we don't have the intervening time of mourning. >> so father, with all good nontransparent political processes let's speculate on what the result will be. so the largest growth within the catholic church has been in the developing world, in south america, actually, the top three countries now. >> yeah. >> for the number of catholics are brazil and then mexico and the philippines. yet when you look at the composition of the conclave, 60 europeans, majority of the conclave. is there any chance that we would see a pope who came from outside of europe? >> sure. the last couple of pontiff cats we have seen an increased internationalization of the college of cardinals. as you say, there's a dominance to the european cardinals and more and more from other parts of the world and especially the third world. and so, sure. i think that's a possibility.
cardinal turkson is sometimes mentioned. and i think of cardinal maridiago of honduras. he's mentioned last time. last time around, a cardinal is mentioned and certainly a possibility and there are a lot of people in the church who realize how much the church has changed and how it's growing very much the third world. that might be reflected in the papal election. >> well, yeah, father, i'm hearing that the insider pick is a sort of a safer bet. angelo scola. i watched last fall because i'm a dork and the figure of philippine loomed large. tagle is really thought of as being sort of the future of the vatican in so many ways, both
for being an intellectual, populous. the philippines is a big constituency, do you think there's a possibility to get someone like him? >> maybe, maybe. it's hard to speculate. think of someone like in 1978, emerging from what was maybe a bit of a disagreement among the leading candidates and then votima emerges. he was a huge surprise in 1978. sometimes the expected candidate emerges. many times the unexpected candidate emerges. we don't know. if i were putting money on it, i think i would get behind cardinal mark ulette and he's a very impressive fellow. he was the archbishop of quebec in canada. he would be the first pope from the new world. and i was in rome just about a month ago for a conference he
chaired and i heard him go effortlessly from italian to spanish to french to portuguese. so he has that john paul ii ease with languages and knows the church very widely. a seminary rector in colombia, from canada, wide experience in europe and at the vatican. he would be certainly a strong candidate. >> hmm. >> father, what do you make of -- this is supposed to be a called by god to this throne and you're generally supposed to sit there until you're gone and your body gives out and a personal reason for saying i can do it no more. he watched his friend do it until he could no longer breathe. what do you make of that personal part of the abdication? >> yeah. it's interesting. as you said, it surprised pretty much everybody. i think even the pope's inner circle surprised by this move so -- and it's very unusual move as you say. it's not been for 700 years that we have seen this happen.
i think in pope benedict's case, i think he knew that he was just physically too weak to carry out this punishingly difficult job and it is that. and for someone at that advanced age, i think he said in honesty, i can't do this. john paul had a different spirituality and to carry it through to the bitter end. i think with pope benedict it was a rational calculus that this was a job that's proving too much for him and i think he had such respect for the office he felt it wasn't the ideal situation. but again, that's speculative, too. going on what he said in the statement which is really just that. that he didn't feel strong enough to carry on and i think people should realize how very difficult that job is. and for someone who's 85 and increasingly infirm it's especially difficult job. >> all right. father, thank you very much. >> my great pleasure. thank you. up next, the state of our union is in askegs says toure.
the president will reportedly now use to draw a line in the sand. >> his emphasis on the need to continue to create jobs or need to continue to have the manufacturing sector expand, that work isn't done so you can believe he'll continue to focus on that. >> while jobs and the economy takes center stage, insiders say to watch for a tighter focus on the middle class, infrastructure and the environment and touched on in the inaugural address and starting wednesday the president will hit the road, takes the message to residents of north carolina, georgia and north carolina. our next guest was a speechwriter for president clinton. including four state of the union addresses. michael waldman is executive director of the brennan center for justice at nyu. welcome. >> great to be with you. >> what's the strategy behind a more aggressive maybe antagonist kind of message that we might hear tomorrow night? >> well, one of the things is that it seems to be working. i think that his inaugural
address, for example, was to me the best speech he's given as president. it didn't have some of the drabness and caution of some of his earlier speeches. it said something. and so, i think that if he keeps going with that approach of boldness and ambition it is not that everything he says is enacted in to law but he'll be able to make a case to the country and with some vivid colors and strong arguments. >> and the country wants to hear a lot about jobs which was relatively unmentioned in the inauguration. he mentioned jobs three times and not really in the context of job growth or creation. do you expect that to be a focal point tomorrow night? >> you are right one area he talked about in the inaugural was his theory of the role of government and didn't really wade in to the budget fights and the immediate things facing the congress and him on the economy. i think what his challenge is is
to kind of make an argument to the public that it's really not just about who can cut the deficit more and the debt, who can trim government but what's an overall economic strategy for investing now while imposing fiscal discipline down the road where it's really needed and that's a case he has an opportunity to make with, you know, with millions of people watching. >> so one of the changes for the second term in the white house is that the president's long-time speech writer favreau is gone and as somebody there on the inside, what that transition is like from one speechwriter to another, what that's like for president obama or for any president and also in terms of what we see and what we hear as voters, as americans, is there going to be a slightly different voice for obama because there's a new speechwriter? >> we don't. it's like a favorite tv show and aaron sorkin left the show. is it going to change now that
he's gone or something like that? you know, with president obama as was the case with president clinton and most of these folks, it's their voice and they are deeply involved in the writing of a speech like the state of the union. it's not as if they're kind of handed a piece of paper or someone points at the teleprompter and tells them to look. it is a bit of a transition. john favreau president obama's speechwriter in the first term had a close relationship with him going back to the campaign and worked with him and writes. he actually works on a laptop and works on text, you know. it really varies quite a bit. president clinton whom i worked with for many years, he wrote but he especially wrote speeches talking out loud, by trying outlines and whole paragraphs. a lot of what we try to do is capture what he was saying. >> michael, i want to hear more about the writing process for a state of the union, how much
typically is the president involved and how long does it take? how close to the actual delivering of it is it actually finished? how many people tend to get involved? because it's not like one person writes it and the president edits it. >> right. not a job for a lonely poet. you know? up in the garrett writes prose. i used to joke the state of the union, we would install a round keyboard in my office so everybody could type at once. state of the union speech is not just about getting applause, it is not even just what the people at home think. it's the governing document, it's an agenda for the administration and the president will hope for the whole country so it's an elaborate process of deciding what goes in, what policies are significant and then what are some of the policy details so let me give you an example of what i'm interested in hearing. on election night, and then in his inaugural address, the president said that he thought it was wrong for people to have to wait in line as long as they
did in elections and really called for reforming the ramshackle way we run elections in this country and i'm hoping to put forward some of the ideas for modernizing voter registration. that sort of things and can have a big impact in building momentum for an issue same with climate change, same with gun violence and other things like that. >> and well michael, we are on the same wave length there with election reform and i understand the brennan center put out a study making the case for voter registration modernization. you're the executive director of that organization. kind what kind of details do you want to see from the president on that issue in particular? >> well, i don't think any president is going to get in to all the weeds, i hope, of the details of policy. but and that's an example of making it clear that there are steps you can take to modernize voter registration so it's no longer a paper based
error-filled system. national standards for early voting and for election administration. those are the kinds of things that eater in a speech or after that and administration can send a signal. same kind of thing on climate change. i thought the president was terrific not only said we needed to do something but called out those deniers of climate change in the inaugural but, of course, his attempt to enact legislation didn't work out in the first term. i would like to know what kinds of things he is thinking and talking about. the goal should not just be what can i get passed in the next six months but lay out an argument to the country of what kind of country we ought to be and drive toward it over four years and again i thought that his inaugural address was so powerful. it suggested that maybe he feels a little liberated by the re-election to do that kind of thing. >> does he mention drones tomorrow night? >> hmm. i doubt it. >> you doubt it? >> i doubt it. he might, though.
he might because he might want to make his argument that it's kept the country safer. >> right. we'll see. >> isn't his official position, what's a drone? >> what drone program? >> he will not drone on. >> michael, thank you very much. in case you missed that, that's thanks very much. toure was yelling over it. here ats msnbc we're asking yo to fill in the blank. i say it's full of promise. but we want to hear how you finish the statement. gregory dean says it's great political theater. >> true. >> submit your vote. up next, today's development out of the vatican is just the latest twist of in centuries of secrets. we're spinning on the story everybody's talking about today, next. [ male announcer ] here's a word that could give you peace of mind. unbiased.
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so the supreme pontiff the abdicating. god's rottweiler is stepping aside. technically can't resign. there's nobody to accept the resignation but the long and short of it is we need a new guy so soon we'll set until to vatican watch and twice a day smoke rises from the sistine chapel as the cardials burn the ballots. black smoke is no choice yet. white smoke means we have a new pope. let's spin on it. i really am interested in this process and can't wait for the waiting in the smoke. i remember it in '78 after the blizzard. >> you are so old. >> you shut your mouth, lady fingers. >> young lady. >> it's really a thing he wanted to step down and word is wise but anyway. stepping down because this man ratzinger really wanted to be
pope. that's a great story in "the atlantic" the year of two popes. look it up from 2006. talking about the years he spent inching toward being the pope. he was very close with pope john paul and spent years making himself seem like an intellectual massive figure so the others in the vatican look to him as the number two and starting the process, he was considered the favorite to win. you know, i mean, john paul was mr. outside. right? he would go out on the balcony. ratzinger is always mr. inside. everybody inside the vatican had great respect for him. i'm interested to see what happens with this process. we'll never know what actually happens inside that room and we know it's an election of a very small town and everybody knows everybody. you can't out wardly campaign. you can't ambitious but there's subtle ways of campaigning and ratzing ratzinger to benedict campaigned.
>> steve did all day. >> i'm the right age. >> call him now? >> and the right religion. >> 42 years. you know, what's interesting to me about this is you're right. you know, benedict is mr. inside and his election, first of all, there were so many reasons why it was sort of doubtful, he was an unlikely choice. likely but unlikely in 2005. election was made possible by rules change that pope john paul ii put in place in 1996 and took the old super jorkt with two thirds of the cardinals to agree an they have as many ballots it took and he said after 30 ballots, a mere 30 ballots, majority rule wins and when somebody gets a majority, end the process because the majority hangs on and then win and probably enabled benedict to win in 2005. almost unanimous and four ballots and that's it. he did away with the rules
change and so we have reverted the two thirds majority and it's the only way that pope john paul ii would have become the pope. there was sort of two candidates duking it out and he was the compromise choice and the unlikely, nobody thought him, polish guy with a chance. and he emerged as the consensus candidate. the compromise candidate. back to that process now where it's wide open and also frankly with the factions that exist, the factions and sort of lines are drawn, if there's no -- if majority doesn't rule there's a potential for -- almost an endless number of ballots here. >> are we going to have nate cohn on? will we get the silverstein -- look. toure, you are right. benedict and pope paul were very, very different popes and there's a lot of reasons for that. some of which you alluded but. benedict never really managed to
get the emotional outpouring that john paul enjoyed. again, there are some reasons for that. one, john paul was a spiritual leader who oversaw a number of very important historical events. he was deeply involved in apartheid, ending the dictator in haiti with baby doc. solidarity in poland. huge moments where the pope more than instrumental. he was in many ways spiritually and politically leading the charge in some of those events. benedict didn't really have any of those moments of his own. >> sort of a person. >> and you explained that well. the insider versus the outsider. i'll also say that the liberal media which is somehow different than it was when pope john paul came in in '78 gave benedict a very, very hard time. i will never forget because i wrote about it at the time lisa miller of "newsweek" wrote a
column about pope benedict saying he was going to have a hard time connecting literally because he's ugly. it was a really kind of gross and disturbing way of treating him. so there were a lot of factors. i think pope benedict had very good intentions but for a lot of reasons never really got to ascend to the place where i think he wanted to be. >> well, and the legacy is interesting, too, because there's sort of something in there for everybody to either love or hate. >> yeah. >> you know, he was a real advocate for addressing climate change, help for the poor. sort of had an tip think to the excesses of wealth. >> he was on twitter. >> everybody loves that, right? he was very outspoken in keeping women from being ordained. he went after the largest group of nuns in america for basically spending too much time focused on the poor and not enough on abortion and gay marriage. so again, there's something in there for everybody to love or to hate and in terms of the
broader legacy, you can't leave out the fact that kind of the biggest news event and the biggest thing that happened while he was pope was the catholic church sex scandal. and he was himself before he was pope personally implicated in reassigning a priest who had been accused of molesting a child, reassigning him five days after having counseling and then this priest goes on to molest more children and be convicted of that so i think that will always be a stain on his legacy but definitely a complicated, interesting figure. >> yeah. >> absolutely. wonder if the new pope will be on the twitter. hmm. coming up, what's on the the president's mind prepping for the state of the union? a white house insider joins us next in the guest spot. as we head to break, another great grammy performance from the black keys. ♪ just one bite opens a world of delight... ♪
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yes. get mad. get mad. >> and my friend, i'm starting to think you may not be up to it. >> ugh! >> mr. president, are you okay? >> oh my god, what happened? >> what happened was you made barack obama angry. and when you make barack obama angry, he turns in to the rock-obama. >> i like it. i wouldn't mind seeing a tougher president at the state of the union tomorrow night but who's it for? us or for congress? guest spot is a white house
insider who knows what goes in to framing a white house speech in to action. with us now is obama for america michael blake. michael, thank you so much for joining us. >> great being with you. >> s.e.? >> yeah. michael, we were all sort of talking about this before the show. the state of the union, is it your feeling that it's more a conversation between the president and the american people or the president and congress? steve was reminding us all that it started out for a way for president to talk to congress and since 1966, i believe, we have had an opposition response from congress so that seems to be maybe the historical interpretation but there's also reason to believe the president is speaking to the public since we have had the invent of the televisio television. what is your take? >> it is the conversation with the people. we don't want any fights tomorrow. we don't need opposition all the
time right now. this is a conversation with the people. that's the reason why the president after the state of the union is going to be going to asheville, north carolina. going to atlanta. going to chicago. to speak about gun rights and for us to understand what we did four years ago and showing us that the election is one part of that. state of the union's next part of that. but now we have to continue the conversation, immigration reform, gun rights part of a collective conversation that happens in a speech tomorrow night but now we have to make sure that the action gets done. when we talk through the campaign, we said in 2008 we changed the guard. in 2012, we guard the change. here's how we guard the change. having the people get motivated and we had 10,000 neighborhood teams mobilizing, persuading, turning people out and why tomorrow we're excited about what the president will do. the next step of this. at the inauguration laying a vision. talking about the economy. talking about middle class. talking about immigration and now for all of us to come together and be excited about
what the president is talking tomorrow night. >> i'm glad to hear he's speaking to the people because in the gun control conversation he needs to rally the people to maybe be able to get something done. how do you think he addresses gun control in the speech? >> first, you know, let's be cognizant that any time a life is lost something has to happen. we have can't continue and that's why the first lady went out the the funeral last weekend and the president talking tomorrow night it is about setting the tone already and shown that leadership. 23 executive actions. saying we can't wait any longer and congress we need for you to help us move forward and make the schools safe and military style assault weapons off the streets. make sure there's background checks and all of this is part of a collective process of the president setting that tone again tomorrow night, setting it again on friday in chicago and we need all of us to realize it's an all-inclusive conversation. we need congress to be a part of this, parents, teachers, all
those that care about the communities to be engaged and when that happens seeing serious action on guns. >> michael, speaking of that engagement after 2008, obama for america turned in to organizing for america and now turned in to organizing for action. i mean, i would say the general verdict on how organizing for america did in terms of organizing maybe you disagree with this, it was somewhat lackluster. what's organizing for action actually going to do? >> well, we were just trying to find another way to use ofa. organizing for action is saying what we have done over last six years, the election is part of that. the civil rights movement, took nine years for the act to get done and you have to organize and people knocking on doors and making phone calls and house parties tomorrow night, call campaigns happening, this is about saying to the american people, for those out there, 2 million volunteers out there to be engaged and stay engaged, 36
million on facebook following the president, we have more work to do. now, when you think about what we did on the campaign, a lot of it through the neighborhood teams. a neighborhood team leader, a core tell members and interesting to see s.e. toure, i want to say when's the neighborhood team leader on set? >> not me. >> the neighborhood team leader? that's awesome! >> again, toure, we don't want drama on the set but for everyone to come together and organize. >> let's get her to come together with her. this sounds awesome. >> right. >> but now the next step is, you know, how to organize? through the state of the union tomorrow night, the president will say we need you. what leadership is happening from the entire team, we need you to continue to mobile ides and say to everyone, the work is not done until we get the actions executed in congress. we need congress to stand with us in getting that done. >> so ofa is switching off being a campaign organization and a post-campaign organization. i wonder if it or the people a part of it are going to go back to campaign mode sort of
together in 2016. this is the second term of the presidency. if obama is like bill clinton or like ronald reagan, you know, that idea of getting that sort of unofficial third term, the vindication and mattered to bill clinton. didn't get wit al gore. ronald reagan did with george bush sr. will that enter in the picture next two, three years? >> absolutely. people didn't just vote for the president and because of their skin color, because they're a woman or young person. but they believed in the policies and the vision of the president and re-electing him this is part of a continual campaign. there's an infrastructure ready to bring people in talking about grants, immigration, energy. we have the move forward with that. that's part of an effort of saying we want to organize but we have to organize for action. none of this matters unless we get bills done and see changes happen in our dmunt and we saw that four years ago. everyone understood when you elected the president, we were going to get health care and end
the iraq war. we achieved that. the president is clear. we have to create jobs. 6 million last 35 months in the private sector. cradle to career. we need people to mobilize and organize with us. all these pieces are a part of that continual movement and make sure to see that success going forward for four years. >> certainly one of the hopes is that people continue to see themselves less as spectators and michael blake thank you. >> thank you, everyone. president no doubt on fire tomorrow night. and then he takes the message straight to the cities where our next guest says it matters the most. he explains next. it's been said that beauty is in the ewell...behold. der. behold water so blue it merges with the sky above.
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richard, when you frame it, like i did, it sounds like a no-brainer that president obama would be paying attention to urban america but i think when you sort of look at the incentive game in politics, i notice in the 2012 elections really i think pointed towards this the democratic basin creasingly is concentrated really in cities and metropolitan areas. obama in victory this year won fewer counties than michael dukakis while wiped out national 25 years ago. it strikes me little incentive that republicans say to playing to the city and written off urban america to the democrats and focused on the rest of the america. can that be on the agenda as long as that dynamic persists? >> steve, you're absolutely right. i'll have a post coming at atlantic city later this week for cities and metros in giving
the president his victory and kind of redefining our electorate, creating a new majority for him and the democrats around cities. but yeah. his big three issues, as you were just talking about, gun control, immigration reform and climate change, those are urban issues. push for climate change in united states and around the world is cities and mayors. and the push for better gun control come from cities. obama is a city guy. you know? he lived in cities. he's hailed from cities. grew up in honolulu and moved to l.a. and lived in new york and boston and later chicago. so i think the time is right and what i point to in the piece is two things. one, we need a department of cities to make the investments we're making in this country on infrastructure, in the environment, on. >> fordable housing and job creation and if we think where that bull work of bipartisan change will come from, who are
the pragmatic leaders in the country, the president should go right to the mayors, whether it's a republican or independent like mike bloomberg, an independent like rahm emanuel. they have the solutions so i think he can not only make urbanism part of the jaebd, gun control agenda, immigration reform agenda, he can break the deadlock in washington appealing to the people who want positive change. >> richard, dig down a little bit in to the department of cities, what exactly would it do, how would it work? >> well, my sense is that hud was great for its was great for its time. created in the mid 1960s when cities were emptying out to really be the bulwark of both urban renewal, so to speak by renewing those downtown cores, and providing affordable public housing. but that mission is no longer what cities are about. cities are the fulcrum of innovation, economic growth, with density providing better
and more affordable housing and climate change in a more efficient environment. so my sense is it it pulls together pieces of the department of transportation that will make the trillion dollar investment in our infrastructure, pieces of the department of environmental protection. of course, it folds in all of hud and other relevant agencies, department of commerce, the economic development administration that are all making investments and not only making better cities and metro areas but in making those investments more rationally, and i think it could be one of the first place that is really gives weight to this notion of we're going to cut to invest. by focusing these kind of pork barrel agendas and making them strategically, we can do more with less and build stronger cities, stronger suburbs and stronger metros. >> richard, poverty has significantly increased over the past four years and it's always been higher in rural areas than in urban areas. do you think -- do you worry at all that this new department of the cities, this new focus on cities will take away resources from focusing on rural poverty?
>> no, i don't think so. i think a department of cities would focus on all various areas, suburban areas, traditional urban cores, even rural areas, and we know rural areas are about splits. some of them are growing very nicely and some of them are terribly in poverty. i think the poverty agenda in the united states has to be reframed as an economic development agenda. you know, when i look at poverty, i see a tremendous waste of human tal len and human capabilities, and i would think to make poverty part of an economic development strategy, investing in people, investing in human capital, investing in our places across the spectrum. that's what a department of cities and economic growth would do. >> all right. richard, thank you for joining us. straight ahead, something president obama will likely not mention in his state of the union. drones. toure sets the record straight on his thoughts on the matter next. [ male announcer ] i've seen incredible things.
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i'm not pro-drone, but i am pro-killing those who are working to kill us. i am anti-collateral damage. everyone is. but i know civilians are tragically killed in human warfare and in robotic warfare. i know war crimes may have been committed via our drone program, but i am pro-killing al qaeda leaders via drones even if they are american citizens. the authorization for use of military force gives the president the power to use all necessary force to prevent future attacks and given that, you cannot join al qaeda in a time of war and traitorously
plot against us in a foreign country and expect constitutional protection. if you are in al qaeda working to kill americans, you should be killed. anwar al awlaki, an operational figure involved with multiple attacks, a man hiding in a tribal area from which american soldiers may have not been able to escape, that american citizen should have been killed. abdul rahman al awlaki, his 16-year-old son was not in al qaeda. he was killed while looking for his father who died two weeks earlier. some say he was targeted which would be tragic and a war crime but there's much evidence he was not targeted but standing too near an al qaeda official who was targeted. all major wars lead to these moments of moral outrage, an endless post geographical war is also fraught.
we have a president who is battling an enemy hiding in ungovernable areas of the world. sow uses the technology available to disrupt al qaeda in ways that minimize the risk to american soldiers. yes, he has done so with a lack of oversight which is problematic and a special court overseeing who is targeted is a great idea, but the idea that drones are responsible for more civilian deaths than human warfare is untrue. a recent report from the council on foreign relations called reforming u.s. drone strike policies finds, quote, far less collateral damage from drones than other weapons platforms. it quotes the bureau of investigative journalism, a british nonprofit, which found in the pakistan drone strikes, 23% of those killed were civilians and in yemen only 8%. approximately 800 civilians killed since 2004 are far too many, but the afghanistan war according to the u.n. left well over 13,000 civilians dead and the iraq war left more than 100,000